GLOBAL – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has unveiled the World Food Safety Day 2023 theme together with a guide for the June 7 event. 

The theme, “Food standards save lives” is aimed at recognizing the importance of food standards across the world in keeping consumers safe, and in underpinning an equitable trade in food.

Corinna Hawkes, Director of the FAO Food Systems and Food Safety Division, invites participation in World Food Safety Day this year in a dedicated video message.

“FAO supports countries to transform agri-food systems so that they benefit people and the planet,” she says in the video, noting that policymakers, practitioners, and investors should reorient their activities to increase the sustainable production and consumption of safe foods.

Prior to the 7 June observance, the event guide has been released in all six official UN languages to provide an overview of the theme, facts and numbers, event ideas, and key messages that might be used to promote awareness and motivate action on World Food Safety Day.

The purpose of International Food Safety Day is to encourage everyone to adopt and accept food safety standards across the food supply chain, from the producer to the consumer.

This will aid in lowering the almost wholly preventable incidence of foodborne illness.

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) were given special responsibility by the United Nations (UN) to promote food safety and its significance globally.

In turn, the WHO and FAO resolved that every year, June 7, will be observed as World Food Safety Day.

A resolution designating June 7 each year as “celebrating the myriad benefits of safe food” was approved by the UN General Assembly on December 20, 2018.

Almost two months later, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution designating June 7 of each year as World Food Safety Day.

WHO estimates that around 420,000 people around the world die every year after consuming contaminated food, while children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 125, 000 deaths every year.

Moreover, contaminated food hinders the growth of many middle- and lower-income economies, which suffer losses of about US$110 billion due to incapacity, serious illnesses, or even early death.

To this end, World Food Safety Day aims to transform food systems to deliver better health sustainably and prevent foodborne diseases.

This day also provides an opportunity to strengthen efforts to ensure that the food we eat is safe and reduce the burden of foodborne illnesses globally.

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